Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies

Rowman & Littlefield. Oct. 2018. 192p. notes. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781538115169. $34; ebk. ISBN 9781538115176. PSYCH/ED
Educator Senechal (Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture) begins by thanking her mentor in cantillation—the ritual chanting of Hebrew Bible readings during synagogue services. She then gratefully acknowledges her students in philosophy, language, and literature and gives complexity its due. Both optimist and critic, the author deplores our current national leadership and points to language burdened with terms carelessly applied, such as change, creativity, the team, instead endorsing uncertainty that is stimulating, challenging, and uplifting. Senechal warns that popular TED Talks demean science with poor work seductively presented. In a final section that takes on listening, even imperfectly, she inspires readers to live "without panacea" and respond to complexity with a full mind. Overall, the text is well illustrated, thoughtful, and clear, with examples that distinguish between mind-set and theory.
VERDICT An alluring choice for readers with an academic bent. For larger collections.
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